If toes had eyes, then I could see how my feet know where to go, but toes are blind. And how is it that my tongue speaks words it cannot hear? Because for all its eloquence, the tongue itself is deaf, and flaps in soundlessness.
When you're and only child in a family with an only parent, you look at other, bigger families with envy. Mary Alice had a family with a station wagon, a split-level house, and a pool. But then I looked up and saw Mary Alice's toes, as she stood at the edged of the diving board. Her second toe lay on top of her big toe on each foot. I had never seen such a thing. I wondered if Mary Alice's toes would ever prevent her from doing the things she wanted to do in life. "Look, y'all!" she said, forming her perfect body into a perfect swan's dive. I decided then that any time I got frustrated with my overall situation in life, mad or jealous of knee socks or a pink canopy bed in a pink room, I'd take a deep breath and think about Mary Alice's toes. At least I didn't have Mary Alice's toes.
Brushing my little teeth every morning of my childhood, I stood on my tippy toes, leaned over the sink and said to myself that when I am a big girl I will see from this high. Today I did the same thing, but the view from my toes was the same from flat feet. I'm a big girl now.
Once upon a time they was two girls, " I say. "one girl had black skin, one girl had white." Mae Mobley look up at me. She listening. "Little colored girl say to little white girl, 'How come your skin be so pale?' White girl say, 'I don't know. How come your skin be so black? What you think that mean?' "But neither one a them little girls knew. So little white girl say, 'Well, let's see. You got hair, I got hair.'"I gives Mae Mobley a little tousle on her head. "Little colored girl say 'I got a nose, you got a nose.'"I gives her little snout a tweak. She got to reach up and do the same to me. "Little white girl say, 'I got toes, you got toes.' And I do the little thing with her toes, but she can't get to mine cause I got my white work shoes on. "'So we's the same. Just a different color', say that little colored girl. The little white girl she agreed and they was friends. The End." Baby Girl just look at me. Law, that was a sorry story if I ever heard one. Wasn't even no plot to it. But Mae Mobley, she smile and say, "Tell it again.